Angola’s informal markets

Vegetable sellers on outskirts of Luanda.

Vegetable sellers on the outskirts of Luanda.

I participated in the last ‘international conference of a changing country’ in Lisbon which took place from October 26 to 27, 2012. I presented a talk about informal markets in Angola, commerce and its challenge. I talked about the history of the informal markets, legislation governing the informal sector, public policy and challenges.

The informal sector is a consequence of the war that took place in Angola from 1975 to 1991. We adapted the communist political model which created a lot of bureaucracy. In 1998 the researcher Mario Adauta demonstrated that a large part of the informal sector is filled by women.

A primary example of the informal sector in Angola was Roque Santeiro Market whcih in the 90s was considered the largest market in Africa. The market was transferred to Panguila in 2010.

In recent years the Angolan government has implemented various public policies:

-closure of old markets and opening of new markets (for example Roque Santeiro Market)-Baleo Umico do Emprende
-Support program for small business

I believe that the informal market will continue to grow because so many Angolan families can’t support themselves. The government must create policies on protection of sellers due to competition from the Chinese and immigrants from Nigeria and Rwanda.

-Helga da Silveira, Research and Documentation Centre Coodinator

Introducing Helga


My name is Helga. I’m thirty. I live with my mother and two brothers. I don’t have any children. I studied Economic Law at Jean Piajet University.

I work for Development Workshop (DW) and manage the Research and Documents Centre.

In my free time I go to the cinema and I like watching television, especially National Geographic Channel, the History Channel and the news. Sometimes I go to the beach and nightclubs. I also like to visit my friends and stay at home.

I’m single but I have a boyfriend. I have a car.

I like my work a lot because I can contact people around the world.

I hope to visit Malange Province in Angola and Maputo in Mozambique soon. I have visited other countries: South Africa, Portugal and Namibia.

I’m very happy to participate in the English Course at DW.

Helga in Cape Town, South Africa.